Dream # 1: Uniform Costs
Currently, a new Glee Club member will pay around $220 for the three uniforms currently required of Glee Clubbers – a formal set of tails for evening concerts, the blue blazer and khakis for formal non-concert events, and a blue polo for “school spirit” events or traveling on tour. For some, uniform costs can be prohibitive. Members of the Blue Band receive heavily discounted rates for a number of uniforms so cost is not an issue to the student.
Dream # 2: Tour
While we are fortunate to be able to subsidize tour costs through our endowment funds, if a student wants to join the spring break tour, they need to pay. In the past nine years, the cheapest domestic tour cost around $75, a recent trip to San Francisco was more than $700, and our trip to New Zealand in 2010 was around $2,750. We do come with ideas for men to raise funds, but we still rarely have more than 50% of the membership on tour. A number of other comparable college glee clubs have sufficiency endowments that students are not required to pay anything towards tour.
Dream # 3: Fund to enrich music composition
We are most fortunate to have an endowment fund provided for by Bill and Bette Detterer. For our 125th celebration, the funds from the Detterer endowment paid for a commission of a piece written to mark our anniversary. The same endowment will pay most of a commission of a work for the 2014-2015 year. It would be wonderful to have a piece written especially for us each year. Not only does this expand our own library, but also those of all male choirs throughout the country and beyond. Composers charge by the minute of the duration of the piece, and our most recent commissions have cost between $1900 and $3900. The more significant the composer, the more expensive the commission.
Dream # 4: Retreat
Many of you will remember attending a fall retreat at Stone Valley. More recently we have opted for afternoon retreats in State College. It would be ideal for the development of both musical and fraternal goals if we could go for a weekend long retreat. Hiring a bus is at least $1500 for a return trip within Pennsylvania, and of course venue hire and food adds up significantly. It would be wonderful if we could do this with the men paying little or nothing towards the retreat.
Dream # 5: Penn State Glee Club Men of Song Festival
Begun in 2012, we host a one day festival in the fall (usually a Saturday in October) providing young men with changing and changed voices from grades 8 through 12 a chance to rehearse with the Hi-Lo’s and Glee Club, culminating in an informal performance. Our first Men of Song Festival in 2012 was attended by 40 boys from 6 schools. The second year we had 120 boys from 13 schools and for the coming fall, we now need to move to Eisenhower Auditorium. Those attending pay $15, but the cost to the Glee Club (venue hire, food and refreshments, music purchase) surpasses the income generated. This is a great day for all concerned, and a wonderful recruitment opportunity for Penn State.